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Cameroon and Electricite de France have agreed to build a 400 billion CFA hydroelectric plant to generate 360 MW, and most of that power will be used to double production at a major aluminium plant, government officials said.
Work on the plant at Nachtigal Falls on the Sanaga River, around 60 km north-east of Yaounde, is due to start within six months when another hydropower project, Lom Pangar, is completed.
EDF will contribute 40% of the cost, the International Finance Corporation 34% and the government 26%.
The new power project should enable a doubling of production at the Alucam aluminium factory at Edea, a joint venture between Rio Tinto Alcan and the government, officials said.
Cameroon has two hydro plants, Edea and Song Loulou, and is expected to have more hydropower potential, but only 22% of its people are connected to the power system, a figure the government hopes to boost to 48% by 2020, according to 2009 African Development Bank figures.
News date: 12/11/2013